More World Bank Aid for Environmental Projects
Washington - The World Bank is planning to expand its
environment-related activities. Presenting the Bank's Environment Report in
September, the head of its environment department Mohamed El-Ashry named four
areas - promotion of planning capacities in developing countries, ensuring the
environmental compatibility of all World Bank projects, linking of the fight
against poverty to environmental protection, and the further implementation of
the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The Environment Report indicates that in the last financial year
the Bank financed 19 projects, costing $ 1.2 billion, aimed solely at protecting
the environment. Ten of them are concerned with the management of natural
resources. Six are providing aid to enable specific developing countries prepare
and implement environmental protection programmes. According to the Bank a
further 43 projects include major environmental protection components.
El-Ashry pointed out that the Bank was helping individual
countries prepare Environment Action Plans. But it was not intended to link EAPs
to Structural Adjustment Programmes. The World Bank was now also taking the
social and ecological consequences of SAPs into consideration.
How the GEF is to financed in future is still unclear. A billion
dollars is available to cover the pilot phase, which runs until 1993. The fact
that this global fund has been entrusted to the World Bank has been sharply
criticized by environmental non-governmental organizations from both North and
South, They accuse the Bank of continuing to pursue too many ecologically
Industrialized Countries Should Move Towards New Growth Model
Frankfurt - At the "German Environment Day", held in Frankfurt
in September, politicians and scientists advocated a new, environmentally
compatible model for prosperity in the industrial countries. In this connection,
German President Richard von Weizsacker voiced support for the idea of including
the cost of environmental protection in the economic system. According to the
President, energy prices should rise "moderately and gradually". Speakers from
developing countries argued the case for remission of Third World debts,
reminding the industrialized states that at the Earth Summit" they
admitted being mainly responsible for the global environmental crisis.
At the "Climate Forum", Frankfurt climate researcher Christian
Schonwiese warned of the risk of population migrations as a consequence of the
greenhouse effect. Unless the industrialized nations changed their habits, he
said, there would be "climate refugees" Model calculations had predicted an
increase in the number of tropical whirlwinds, lower rainfall in the
Mediterranean region and a rise in temperatures in the northern countries. An
overall fall in agricultural production was probable.
Discussion groups, exhibitions and cultural events at the German
Environment Conference were aimed at involving people from the political sphere,
the business community and environmental associations in dialogue. However, the
environmental associations complained that industry exploited this major
conference - some 15,000 participants stayed for the duration - as a PR
opportunity to boost their own images.
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GTZ's Activities in Eastern Europe "Not at Expense of South"
Eschborn - With the establishment of a new unit in its
organization, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) has
created a basis for new tasks in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS). The new unit has a staff of about twenty and is
already providing technical assistance in Hungary, Albania, Poland, Romania,
Byelorus, Uzbekistan and Turkmenia.
As the head of the unit, Dirk-Hartmut Hoppe, explained to
gtz-intern, GTZ's eastern European activities focus on privatization,
establishing public institutional structures and promoting agriculture. In the
medium term, Hoppe expects this department of GTZ to expand. But he also
emphasized the position of GTZ management that the agency's work in eastern
Europe should not be at the expense of its activities in the South.
GTZ's principal clients are the Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation (BMZ) and multilateral organizations such as EC authorities. In its
budget for next year the BMZ has earmarked DM 97 million for eastern